Help with through and figure eight.


New Member
Hi there,
I cant seem to get my dog to listen to the hand signals of the figure eight trick. and even if she does then she does it very slow...

Jean Cote

Staff member
You gotta work on your luring. Have some very smelly (and yummy) treats that your dog can't resist and lure your dog through your leg. Don't try to do the entire figure eight in the beginning, start with just luring your dog in and around your leg.

She might also think that this trick is boring. So have fun with it! After you give your dog a treat, run away, or play with a toy! Have fun! You want to associate PLEASURE with the behavior. :dogsmile:

Also, don't correct your dog. Make sure that he is correct 90% of the time. So this means take incremental steps in the training, so that you start with very easy exercises like luring your dog underneath you and slowly expanding to a lure of one leg, and so on. That way the dog will feel good about the training (because he's mostly always right). :dogsmile:


New Member
If the above doesn't help, I can offer a suggestion:
you can try to have 2 treats also, one in left hand,good treat-but not mouth watering wonderful, exagerate your step forward, then when luring them to the space thru your right leg, have your right hand there with the great treat and they should nose transfer thru, mark it, say yes or click and treat, then praise.
I also teach target so the dog touches something with their nose, when teaching weave thru I use target and they target the lid by going thru my legs also.


Well-Known Member
To make the dog go faster you could also lure it with a toy and as you're luring the dog in little movements you throw the toy like in a fetch game. Don't know if I explained it well (probably didn't :dogtongue2:) but I mean that you should trick the dog into thinking that as soon as he gets under your leg you'll throw the toy, the dog should be motivated to go faster than if you were luring with a treat (because he needs to run to get the toy, while he needs to stay still to get the treat). First throw it just as it's getting under you, then lure him in turning around and throw the toy, and well, just go on until you get the full figure 8.
I'm doing this to teach my dog the figure 8 but I must admit I was lucky cause she started doing it on her own, I just praised her and asked her to keep going adding the cue:dogbiggrin:

Btw it's this same trick you can use to get a faster recall by throwing the toy behind you under your legs and making the dog pass between your legs to fetch without stopping, when he's real fast at doing this you close your legs.... it could get quite painful the first time you close your legs but you get a great recall and sit front.


New Member
If you want to make your dog to go faster in that trick,somtimes what I do to make my dog faster is to make my legs a bit smaller,then i shift the treat from hand to hand so the the luring is easy.Repeat the steps until you can handle it with the hand signals.Wish I helped!


Honored Member
I'm teaching Buddy this one, and he is TOO fast for me to pass the treat from my left hand to my right hand, SO what i did is rub something kinda smelly (i handled some cooked liver, that did the trick! another time, i put a dab of peanut butter in each palm). Buddy has come to understand his treat is delivered after trick is done, his treat is in dish next to us. My hands are actually empty now, but Buddy wont' do the 8 yet without my motioning the hand-pass of a fake treat. Ha.

Using just a scent, i don't have to try to 'pass' the treat from one hand to the other. Buddy was just too fast, he'd almost hafta pause, or steal the treat as i passed it hand to hand.
A toy might be better...bigger and easier for me to pass, i'll try that.
Buddy's cue for this is "LOOP" said in kinda weird tone, and i stand with feet apart.

So far, Buddy can do one figure 8 at top speed, and i want to begin to walk along and have him still doing this. Buddy does not know this is my plan yet, ha ha!
HOWEVER, AT THIS POINT, BUDDY IS STILL CHASING A TREAT and i am hoping then, that i won't hafta keep the luring going. That i'll be able to switch from fake-luring to just a verbal cue.

Even Buddy knows there is no treat in my hand, but he needs to pretend we are luring. ha ha! hmmm. maybe i messed this up somehow. guess i'll go back and review the classroom tapes and see where i messed up. Or maybe it's too soon yet to move to verbal cue only?


Experienced Member
I usually put 2-3 treats in each hand and give a lure each pass through when starting out. My older dog can do a pass through each way now with no lures but puppy still needs lures. If your dog loses intrest or quits the rate of reinforcement needs to go up. As he gets it maybe go to luring for each two passes through legs etc.

Hold them in your fisted hand and drop one at a time to between your finger and thumb. That way only one is available/visible and you can reload instantly. I don't use a clicker for this unless I'm just starting out since it's a two handed job. I do use verbal marks like yesssss! Szecsuani suggested big exagerated hand gestures once you get the mechanics down for a while then make them smaller. This helped me a lot too.


New Member
Try breaking it down to separate parts and then give each part its own hand movement... Targeting your hand is a useful thing to know for this trick!